Newly flush Berkshire Museum seeks public help Appeal follows final accounting to AG’s office on art sale proceeds

The Lost Pleiad statue looms large near the staircase leading to the Ellen Crane Memorial Room at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. In his first Annual Fund appeal since joining the museum as executive director last spring, Jeff Rodgers aims to raise $100,000 – the museum’s first such campaign since it raised $53.25 million by selling 22 pieces from its collection. – Photo by Ben Garver

by Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle

PITTSFIELD — With investment income now covering one-third of its budget, the Berkshire Museum is back in supporters’ mailboxes with an upbeat report — and a different kind of “ask.”

The appeal will test public willingness to donate to a nonprofit whose leaders in 2017 opted to close operating deficits by cashing out much of its most valuable works of art.

In his first Annual Fund appeal since joining the museum as executive director last spring, Jeff Rodgers skips what he terms the typical money pitch. It is the first such campaign since the museum raised $53.25 million by selling 22 pieces from its collection.

“This has been anything but a typical year,” Rodgers writes.